More than 1.5 million people in the United States live with Type 1 diabetes, a disease in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, and managing this disease can be a huge burden. Yes, the industry has come a long way from the room-sized artificial pancreas of the 70s, paper records, finger pricking, and manual injections. However, even though these treatments are improving, they still require constant vigilance. One missed alarm or delayed injection could be fatal.
With today’s continuous glucose monitoring systems and self-optimizing insulin pumps — and improved software that connects the two — the search for the artificial pancreas may be close to over. And it’s not just big companies and startups that are having an impact. Feeling that progress still seems slow, some patients are taking matters into their own hands and creating their own artificial pancreas. Wherever these new solutions come from, they will have the power to transform millions of lives.
- How close are we to an artificial pancreas?
- What are companies learning from the patients who have made home-grown solutions?
- Is the industry poised to shift from “treating” to “curing” diabetes?
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